It is a warm day. I have just gone to pay for the gym, but walking beat it for me! So on my sneakers goes, as I discover this new suburb. Beautiful quint homes, with this and that design that sends my creative juices dripping…
Ahh this tree is beautiful. I just stand there looking up at the tree for a minute.
I have been having this premonition for a couple of weeks, so when the police car slows down by me, I think, aah, finally it happens!
Police: hello there lady
Me: turning curiously ‘hi’
Police: you live around here?
Out of the corner of my eye, I see another police car stop. Then another, then another, then another, then another, then another… then another… in quick succession I am almost counting 8 now or perhaps more! It is all happening very quickly as my brain struggles to situate whats unfolding. My mind brings up a number of scenarios that may unfold. I stand calmly, my hand never leaving the tree!
Police: have you been on Melrose street? (At least that’s what I remember hearing)
Me: what’s that?
Police: do you have identification?
Me: not on me, but if you follow me home, I’d have one for you
Police: your name?
I give it and other personal details. He goes to the car to check it whiles the other men surround me. Well built and dressed white men. Perhaps under another circumstances I may have appreciated the good looks surrounding me at this moment or my blood would be pumping to a different rhythm. One of them in particular is quite aggressive towards me
Police: I said have you been to Melrose?
Me: I don’t know what that is… I have been walking down straight this road, so if that’s up this road
Police: that’s a lie! I saw you in the corner lady?
Me: calmly ‘ yes, I turned the corner and came back up’
Police: well, there was a break in on Melrose and THE DESCRIPTION WAS A BLACK WOMAN LOOKING LIKE YOU!
Me: well, it was not me! Your colleague is looking me up. He can also put my name in Google. I did not break into a home sir
Police: where have you been today?
Me: just here… I turned to another, little more intimidating one. ‘ you found me here, looking up at a tree… will I be standing here, looking up at a tree if I just robed someone?
Police: you live around here?
Me: yes I do, but I am new to this particular area and so I am just walking around the neighborhood
I see the other one come from his car and he speaks to them
Police: she checks out
Quickly they get into their cars to drive off. One lingers, as if to tell me something, but doesn’t say anything. As the others take off, two more drive in and one calls to the one by me
Police: everything alright
Me: looking him in the eye ‘ you know this is funny. One sees it on TV all the time, but you NEVER THINK IT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU
He gives me a deadpan expression. I take out my phone
Me: can I take a picture?
Him: you can do whatever you want lady
I click away. As they all leave, I notice a little tremor in my hand and I put it on the tree again to keep calm as my mind races
WHAT IF I WAS A BLACK MAN